Daily Links, Dec 27: Peace on earth, good will toward some, and Tebowin' for Christmas

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We begin a shortened final week of 2011 here at U.S. Catholic as we celebrate the Christmas season (and we hope yours is filled with merriment).

Of course, Christmas was marked with sad news of the bombings in Nigeria, which Pope Benedict XVI responded to by issuing a call to pray for peace and justice and to condemn violence in the world. On the bright side, two men suspected of being involved in the bombings were arrested today.

In other Christmas news, we hope to see more stories like this one (and not just at Christmastime) about Catholics coming together to feed the homeless. And of course fewer stories (or better yet, no stories) like this one about a fight breaking out in church during Christmas Eve Mass.

Thankfully the fight had nothing to do with the new English Mass translations, despite stories (like this one and this one) that warned Catholics were in for a big shock when they returned to their churches for Christmas to discover the changes. Did it seem like there were many new faces in the pews at your parish who were unprepared for the changes?

Even though we were away from the office, several members of the U.S. Catholic staff discovered we weren't going to be able to avoid discussion of a certain heroic Christian icon over our Christmas break. I am speaking, of course, of Tim Tebow, who seems to come up no matter where you go. Did you know that Tebow is the best selling religion author of 2011? Oh, and that there's a Tim Tebow song now too? Yes, it seems like Tebowmania is running wild, and there's no end in sight.

Turning from football to the much more vicious world of politics, Ron Paul has been experiencing a surge in popularity of late. Paul, and Libertarianism, are something Christians can get behind, argues Norman Horn in a guest blog at The Washington Post. Here at U.S. Catholic, John Gehring argues that the Tea Party is out of sync with Catholic teaching. If you're looking to take a break from your own holiday parties, take our survey to let us know what you think about Catholicism, taxes, and tea.